There is one problem that plagues every cigar connoisseur world over. If you are a cigar lover I get you. I get how you feel when there is a power outage or when the weather takes a serious turn – because that exacerbates the problem. Bet you’ve already guessed what that problem is...
Why is Cigar Storage Such a Big Problem?
Cigars, despite being smoked by tough men (mostly, or so the world thinks thanks to “The God Father”), are very sensitive by nature. When a cigar is produced, it comes out of the factory with 12-15% moisture content. And this moisture content determines the flavor and taste of the cigar. If the cigar loses the moisture, it loses its taste. Never to be the same again. This is because of the essential oils and sugars within the moisture. These mix with smoke when a cigar burns, giving you that distinctive aroma and much -oved taste.
That’s where the problem of storage comes in. Maintaining the moisture content. Cigars lose and absorb moisture very quickly. The main culprits when it comes to ruining a good cigar are moisture and humidity. How do they do that?
Cigar Storage – The Moisture Effect
Effects of Excessive Moisture
Damp cigars are the results of storing cigars in an environment with excessive humidity, in the areas of 70-72%. this is when they start absorbing the moisture within the air, causing them to become damp. When a cigar becomes damp, it becomes difficult to puff on and burns unevenly, a phenomenon known as tunneling. Tunneling ruins the taste of a cigar because most cigars have different types of tobacco in different layers for the purpose of flavoring. For the best taste, the layers have to burn evenly.
Effects of Low Moisture
When a cigar is left in a dry environment it will quickly lose moisture, and all the delicious essential oils it contains. This results in a loss of flavor. A cigar’s moisture content also determines its burn rate. In order for the essential oils and the sugars in the tobacco to blend well, the cigar has to burn evenly, slowly, and at a low temperature. A dry cigar will burn hot, fast, and unevenly.
Signs of a Damaged Cigar
A damaged cigar is easy to spot as long as you know what to look for. Roll it between your fingers and feel its texture or give it a good look-over. Here are the tale-tell signs.
Dry cigars are brittle to the touch and produce a cracking sound while moist cigars are spongy to the touch. If a cigar hacks cracks, it means it has been exposed to fluctuating humidity levels which led to expansion and contraction thus causing the cracks.
Cigar Storage Tips
The storage of cigars is a serious security measure. You don’t leave your money lying around in the house, do you? Of course not. And yet cigars are as valuable as the money that bought them.
How Not to store Cigars
As already noted, cigars are sensitive to changes in humidity and moisture. That being said, don’t seal them in a plastic container because they need to breathe too. What if I line the plastic container with a paper towel? It will only cause the cigar to become moldy.
The other thing you need to know is that cigars also acquire the taste of the storage they are put it. This is why, contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t store your cigars in a fridge – working on not.
So what’s the best way of storing your cigars?
Get a Humidor (Cigar Storage Box)
A humidor is a cigar storage box that maintains humidity and temperature levels very well. Every cigar connoisseur should have one, or, two, or as many as needed. With the help of a hygrometer, a humidifying device, and distilled water, you can properly maintain the humidity levels in the box. The best humidors are made from Spanish cedar or mahogany. The Spanish cedar actually enhances the flavor of the cigars (for those who like the enhanced flavor) while the mahogany maintains the original flavor.
A word of caution – don’t store different flavored cigars in the same cigar storage box, otherwise, the flavors will “marry”.
Don’t Let Your Cigars Go Up in Smoke
If you don’t want your precious cigars to go up in smoke (without you smoking them), be sure to master the art of storing them well. Just as guitar storage depends on temperature and humidity for a guitar to maintain its sweet melodies, so do your cigars need proper storage to maintain their sweet scent and taste.